In 2022, your team might work in the same building or on opposite coasts. You may live in the same town but never share the same office space. The internet and the pandemic taught us that we could get things done without needing to be near each other. The very idea of teamwork was tested, and we succeeded. Years ago, Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” It’s still true today.
But what about the individuals on your team. What keeps them happy, creative, and capable of showing up to perform their best day in and day out. For those who have come to love working from home, the short answer might just be, “I roll out of bed, brew my coffee, and slide over to my desk without a commute.” For others, the little shortcuts, apps, subscriptions, and tools they’ve found to enhance their productivity fuel the greater good and keep the team fed and ready for more.
“Leave it to the designers for the best color and font hacks.”
Watching our team operate daily, some in Asheville, North Carolina, others as far away as Gainsville, Florida, we thought, what tips and tricks do we have up our sleeves? So, we asked.
And we answered.
Some won’t shock you. For instance, Pinterest makes an appearance on the list. But do we really have a brand manager that swears by a subreddit? And who on the KB team raves about a QR code creator? Find out.
Leave it to the designers for the best color and font hacks.
Graphic Designer Clay Schmidt uses Font Brief for typography inspiration. He says, “It’s got a super cool filter that organizes fonts by personality, which is a fun way to understand type and the many voices and characters created by different type sets.” That’s spoken like a true self-proclaimed typeface nerd, and we love him for it.
Our Art Director, Denise Szakaly, professed her adoration for Pantone Connect. As someone who relies on the consistency of color, it’s not surprising that Denise swears by this site. Pantone Connect ensures consistency of color across branding using data that can be communicated and output consistently at every stage of the design and production process. If you work with colors, you know you can’t afford to have your PMS 4090 display as a PMS 4092.
“The favorite items submitted by our brand managers perfectly depict their personalities. Both named Hannah, they deftly perform their duties of herd wrangling.”
For finding colors that go great together, Kendra Diaz loves using Adobe Color. A part of the Creative Cloud, Adobe Color suggests fun color palettes and lets you create and edit themes with up to ten colors or extract themes from images that inspire you. “It’s an exciting platform where I can test out colors that you think might not go together. Sometimes I surprise the team with combinations.”
The Brand Managers
The favorite items submitted by our brand managers perfectly depict their personalities. Both named Hannah, they deftly perform their duties of herd wrangling. One gets the job done with a sense of whimsy, and the other is diligently practical with a sense of humor.
Hannah Flowers, our newest addition, is an illustrator who, when asked to identify her favorite online tools, came back with, “The illustration subreddit is amazing because there are so many styles, and it’s not frou-frou.” She also included, “Not sure if this is blog-worthy, but I like AddText for when I do redraws of a movie or tv scene.” One might argue that these tools don’t make the team perform better, but we’d say they do. During lunch or on break, Hannah uses her time to decompress and draw and returns refreshed with creative ideas and approaches.
Next is Hannah Welborn, who we all refer to as our de facto boss. Her favorite tools were as expected, precise and exacting—just like she is. First up, WordCounter. Hannah told us, “I use this word counter when creating Google search ads, company descriptions with a character limit, etc. I like that it shows characters, words, and lines as a free tool.” She also included QRCode Monkey, a completely free online QR code creator. “It allows you to customize and even add a logo to the center!” Yes, Hannah gets that excited about centering.
The Content Strategist
Our Content Strategist, Courtenay Lane Morgan, has a laundry list of hacks. As someone who bounces back and forth between writing email campaigns, crafting social media posts, penning ad copy, and formatting blog posts, she appreciates a good shortcut. Here are a few of the ones she uses most:
- Never question your email subject line again with this subject line checker.
- Compress up to 20 images fast AND free with Optimizilla.
- Optimize your WordPress blogs with Yoast.
- AudioJungle has a great library of royalty-free music.
- Grammarly checks spelling and grammar for free. (The premium version is worth the money if you write for a living.)
- Giphy because sometimes you need a gif for social media content, and sometimes you need it for your group chat.
The Brand Strategists
Brand Strategist and Director of Partnerships Lindsey Bnadad‘s responsibilities run the gambit. From developing detailed marketing plans to guiding intricate brand strategies, she’s never at a loss for things to do. To generate fresh ideas for fonts, color palettes, logo inspiration, and aesthetics in general, she relies on Pinterest. “I love being creative, but I’m right-brained. I frequently need help switching to my left brain. Pinterest is a great tool for getting me started!”
“In the past, shortcuts were synonymous with getting things done quickly with less intention and quality.”
Heather Johnson, Kudzu Brands’ Owner, is also a Brand Strategist. Her number one tool, Teamwork, is the workhorse that keeps the agency running. Using Teamwork, Kudzu organizes clients, tasks, billable time, and more. Heather admits, “This project management platform is so robust that I know we scratch the surface of its capabilities. We’re always learning more about what it can do and how we can make the most out of it for our clients.” As someone who is innately curious about everything, Heather also admits Spyfu is another one of her favorite apps. “Although I haven’t had enough time to learn all its bells and whistles, Spyfu has been great for client SEO and Google Ad advertising research.”
Our Toolbox Overfloweth
That’s a lot of resources! It doesn’t sum up all we use and doesn’t scratch the surface of what’s available on the internet.
In the past, shortcuts were synonymous with getting things done quickly with less intention and quality. These days, it means working smarter, not harder. It even includes replenishing and invigorating your creative juices and being the class clown once in a while.
Have tips you want to share, or would you like to know more of ours? Let’s chat! Contact us for a consultation.